Twickenham

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Twickenham

Postby Weegie on Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:45 am

I am working round the 6 Nations venues with my son. This year we went to Twickenham.

It has been a few years since I have been at Twickenham, and in the past always on corporate hospitality. That may have clouded my judgment, but here are a few impressions.(I am waiting for said son to wake up. Teenagers!)

In general, comparing Murrayfield and Twickenham is like comparing a country pub that does good food with a Michelin starred city restaurant. Twickenham's capacity is not much more than Murrayfield, but I'd like to see the comparative revenue figures. Twickenham is a highly efficient machine for generating revenue. There is more of everything - corporate boxes, concessions, bars etc - and everything is that bit more expensive. There also seem to be many more fans arriving early and leaving late and making a day of it.

The RFU have invested well in the stadium. There are a lot of good things like small TV's all over the place for fans which are easier to see than the big screen, the ribbon round the middle tier where announcements and song lyrics go up.

I have never seen so much drink consumed at a rugby match, or so many drunks. The number of people going back and forward to the bars throughout the game was extraordinary. I have never seen numbers like that, even at other grounds where bars are more accessible than they are at Murrayfield.

It really brings home how middle-class rugby is in Scotland. Despite the efforts of the SRU, the Murrayfield crowd must be the most middle-class in rugby. There are hoorays at Twickers, but they are balanced by a very large number of ordinary fans.
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Re: Twickenham

Postby devils advocate on Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:20 pm

I’d respectfully disagree with your last para, Weegie (and wholeheartedly agree with your comment on teenagers!)

The main difference between Twickenham and Murrayfield is location, location and location.

If anyone is going to Twickenham, and either lives in the South East, or comes from farther away, it’s a sod to get to. There are buses, or the more popular Network Rail, but there are queues for both, especially when leaving the ground, that people want to avoid.

I had difficulty in getting on a train at Clapham Junction yesterday just after 12.00, with the numbers going. (for the uninitiated, CJ is a rail hub where trains from a number of mainline stations such as Waterloo and Victoria pass through.) It was pretty impossible for anyone on subsequent stations to Twickenham to get on at those stations. So people know to arrive early, and there are far fewer pubs in the local area to meet up with friends. For Murrayfield, Edinburgh city centre is your oyster to meet and then even walk to the ground from the west end.

Similar happens at the end of the match. With so many people going, its usual to meet up with others after the match in one of the Twickenham bars, rather than all trying to head off in different directions and this also has the benefit of letting the crowds for the trains die down. Last night I left for Twickenham station at about 8, and still was corralled into long queues at the station to get a train back to London. From joining a queue, to getting on a train, was probably about 20 mins. I only saw a couple of drunks, but it may just have been the time I went there and left.

I’d agree that there’s more scope for corporate hospitality at Twickenham, as the local area population is so much larger. It’s the same with the concessions – if there was a throttled transport system to get to Murrayfield and nothing in the immediate area, I’d imagine it would be the same. A pint of my usual in a London postcode still costs me more than a fiver, so the stadium price supplement is not outrageous. I’m not shocked to pay £45 for a ticket to see the Sarries Glasgow match in an area of the ground that would probably be a bronze ticket at Murrayfield for an international. It’s nothing to do with the middle classes v. ordinary fans, just that there’s a bigger potential audience. And despite contacts in London, and none in Edinburgh, I still find it far easier to get tickets for Murrayfield than Twickenham. One thing that does strike me though, there are far more under 25s going to Murrayfield. I hope that’s a good thing.
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Re: Twickenham

Postby Frenchy on Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:48 pm

Never been to Twickenham, but I wonder how much of the difference between the two experiences is down to design, and how much is down to the sheer demand for tickets to Twickenham.

Murrayfield regularly sells out, but it's far easier to get tickets to a Scotland home game than an England one. That means that there are going to be fewer "regulars" at Twickenham. So I think more of the people at Twickenham will be up for making a whole day of it.
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Re: Twickenham

Postby GaryIPA on Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:50 pm

82k capacity is significantly more than 67k
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Re: Twickenham

Postby Tichtheid on Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:32 am

I've been to Twickenham and the Stoop twice, give me Murrayfield any day.

The trains are as described and after the game in London you are so far away from anything, whereas a wee walk gets you back to Haymarket and the West End.
After the Ireland game we got the bus from just outside the ground to Lothian Rd, there was very little wait and the bus took minutes to get there

edit, I also found Twickenham itself to be a concrete edifice, nothing good about it, except the stuff Guinness put on outside, that is quite good.

The Stoop has good food concessions and decent beer, so it's not all bad
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Re: Twickenham

Postby Weegie on Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:09 am

Devils advocate, I take your points about transport difficulties, which helps explain why more people make a day of it at Twickenham. But I'm not sure what you are disagreeing with. Are you saying that you think Twickenham is more middle class (on average) than Murrayfield? In which case I'd disagree on the evidence of this one trip, but accept a sample size of one is often unreliable. Previous trips as I mentioned have been corporate so I mixed with a very small section of the Twickenham crowd on those occasions. This time going as a punter my impressions were quite different from what I had experienced and expected.

Edit.
I suppose we were a good indicator of the issues with Twickenham that end up being good for the RFU. We were in Twickenham (town) at 11:30. Early lunch then over to the Stoop for the women's game, then over the road where we had beers. After the match we made a point of not leaving for a while, but wandered round having a good look at the Twickenham stadium, and had more to eat and drink (good burgers btw).
Last edited by Weegie on Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Twickenham

Postby Weegie on Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:21 am

Tichtheid wrote:I've been to Twickenham and the Stoop twice, give me Murrayfield any day.

The trains are as described and after the game in London you are so far away from anything, whereas a wee walk gets you back to Haymarket and the West End.
After the Ireland game we got the bus from just outside the ground to Lothian Rd, there was very little wait and the bus took minutes to get there

edit, I also found Twickenham itself to be a concrete edifice, nothing good about it, except the stuff Guinness put on outside, that is quite good.

The Stoop has good food concessions and decent beer, so it's not all bad


I'd disagree about there being nothing good about Twickenham. Concrete it may be, but it is an efficient design. But hard to get to so that is definitely a plus for Edinburgh.

Murrayfield to me is the last of its generation of stadia in the 6N (not been to the Olympico). It was constrained by the planing laws, but it was also built primarily as a rugby stadium, which would also be used to generate some income from non-rugby activites. Newer stadia are still built around rugby, built with much more emphasis on the money making non-rugby activities.
Last edited by Weegie on Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Twickenham

Postby Tichtheid on Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:14 am

My opinion on the venue may have been coloured by the result right enough
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Re: Twickenham

Postby biffer on Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:03 am

An old bloke at London Scottish once asked me if I'd ever been to Twickenham. I said no. He said 'aye, don't bother. It's full of ChristopheBerdos'.
Don't mention Rory Hutton. I did once but I think I got away with it.
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Re: Twickenham

Postby devils advocate on Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:53 pm

Weegie, sorry to come back so late but sometimes the need to earn a crust gets in the way.

I think what I was saying is that I don’t see either stadium as particularly middle class (and by that I take it you mean professional, private school educated types). It’s a lot more to do with the rugby catchment areas, as Twickenham’s capacity in relation to the population size within 20 miles is far, far smaller than Murryfield’s.

However, you may well be right in that rugby in my area of London does seem to be played at a wider range of schools (and subsequently clubs) than in Scotland. It wasn’t unusual to have my kids school play against Eton or Harrow one week and the local comp or grammar the next. There was a similar spread in the rugby clubs, with private school kids in the same teams as those from the local comp, and it was only the pressure on getting tickets for Twickenham, and the cost, which prevented a crowd of the kids going along to Twickenham for a big game in the same way I used to go along to Murrayfield. On an aside, I also applaud the SRU for having half price kids tickets, which I haven’t seen anywhere else.

Having gone to a rugby playing state school in Edinburgh, the anecdotes I hear are that many of these schools have given up rugby, and its a challenge to get it back into the schools. But a lot of the current attendees at either National stadium are products of what their school did between 20 and 40 years ago, so it could be that what happened in Scottish schools after I left mine have had a different effect to the ones I think I’m seeing..
I console myself with the thought that I must have been really bad in a previous life for me to come back in this one and have my punishment as a supporter of the Scotland rugby team.
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Re: Twickenham

Postby Weegie on Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:37 pm

A point made by son was that whilst we are always in the platinum seats at Murrayfield, we were in less expensive seats at Twickenham which may have had an influence.
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Re: Twickenham

Postby Weegie on Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:37 pm

A point made by son was that whilst we are always in the platinum seats at Murrayfield, we were in less expensive seats at Twickenham which may have had an influence.
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